Hallmark Channel's DIY fashion expert inspired by her roots
Orly Shani credits her childhood in Israel with her style, and her attitude.
Daytime TV viewers who tune in to Hallmark Channel’s "Home and Family" show have seen Orly Shani demonstrate cool, creative DIY projects and how to get expensive designer looks for less. She's the show's resident fashion expert, whose creativity shines whether she's showing viewers how to turn a men's shirt into a women's dress or how to upcycle an old pair of jeans into a stylish purse.
Now she’s designing herself, for her online store, Tuc & Wes (Cut & Sew spelled backwards). “Every item is limited edition, one of a kind or custom,” Shani tells From The Grapevine. She describes the clothes as streetwear, made using vintage and recycled materials. “I use a lot of vintage prints. I’m making women’s bodysuits out of recycled T-shirts, blazers with floor length detachable fringe,” all at prices from $75-$180. “Every item is a conversation starter, an Instagrammable moment.”
Shani, a Los Angeles native, is the daughter of an American mother and an Israeli father who moved to the United States at 21. “Israel was very much a part of our childhood. We went to Israel for two weeks every other summer. My dad’s entire family still lives there, in Tiberias, Haifa, Tel Aviv,” she says.
She has fond memories of those trips. “Israel is beautiful. And I love the people. Everyone speaks English and everyone is friendly. They remind me of New Yorkers in the sense that there's no BS. They’re very honest. They’re the first ones to compliment but the first ones to say ‘No, not so much.’”
Shani relates a story about one particular visit that made a big impression. “I remember struggling with my weight when I was 14, 15 years old and feeling really insecure about it,” she confides. “We spent the whole summer in Israel and the girls there would wear clothes that they would get made fun of for wearing here – low cut jeans and tiny tops, and they were not really thin girls. But they had such confidence that it was a revelation for me: If you rock it with confidence it doesn’t matter what anyone else says.”
Now busy with work and two young children, Shani hasn’t been to Israel recently, but she can’t wait to go back. “I would love to go with my husband,” a Burbank, California, policeman, she says. “I want us to go together before we bring the kids.”
MORE FROM THE GRAPEVINE: